MOSCOW – Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has fired two space officials over a failed rocket launch that resulted in the loss of three satellites.
The Kremlin said Wednesday that the deputy head of the Russian space agency, Viktor Remishevsky, and the deputy chief of the state-controlled RKK Energiya rocket manufacturer, Vyacheslav Filin, have lost their jobs over the Dec. 5 launch when the Proton-M booster rocket failed to put three GLONASS-M satellites into a designated orbit. The space agency chief, Anatoly Perminov, received a reprimand.
An investigation has revealed that the failure was caused by a calculations error that resulted in excessive fuel being pumped into the carrier's upper stage.
Russia has struggled to place a sufficient number of GLONASS sattellites in orbit to compete with the US GPS navigation system.